German police raid homes of six men over 1944 Nazi massacre
German police have raided the homes of six elderly suspects in connection with the bloodiest massacre by the Nazis in France during the Second World War, prosecutors said Monday.
But detectives failed to find any war diaries, photos or old documents as they had hoped, prosecutor Andreas Brendel said. All six men were either too infirm to talk or denied they took part in the Oradour massacre.
France has preserved the village of Oradour-sur-Glane in ruins as a memorial to the slaughter there of 642 villagers, mainly women and children, in 1944 by the Nazi Party's military force, the Waffen SS.
The resumption of the criminal inquiry was prompted by Berlin archivists who found new evidence about it in the files of the pre-1990 communist secret police, the Stasi.
The six suspects were identified by Stasi investigators as 18- and 19-year-olds serving in the Der Fuehrer regiment of the Waffen SS at the time.
The massacre was a reprisal against the French Resistance. France tried some of the regiment's members after the war, but West Germany said there was not enough evidence to indict the rest. Prosecutors in Dusseldorf are in charge of war-crimes issues nationally.